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it's going to work. but he's going to be paying a price at home for what just happened. russians say we just lost family members. this is going to remind them of afghanistan. >> i have to leave it there. steve barons. malcolm nance. stay with us. as we learn more you will learn more. steve kornacki picks up our coverage next. i'm steve kornacki. right now on "msnbc live," new details on the meeting between pope -- excuse me. new details we are learning about the air disasters and the suspicions now that it might have been an explosion that brought that plane down. it might have been an explosion on board that plane. we will start right now with mikey kay who joins us. mikey, the news has just been breaking this afternoon. we're hearing the reports obviously that there might have been, u.s. officials saying there might have been an explosive device on board.
but what is it that you make of what we're hearing? >> i think these steps that the uk government have taken are pretty unusual given the board of inquiry only convened about 72 hours ago and as with know from mh 17, 370, pan-am, those inquiries take months if not years to conclude. it must have been something, whether it's a piece of human intelligence, something to indicate it's enough to take a cautious approach by the uk government that would look at the risk analysis on for example airliners going into and out of sharm el-sheikh from the u.k. for example, which is in the best nature of the security and safety of u.k. passengers. but what i would say is steve, there is a motive in this in terms of russia's engagement in syria and the islamic state. but in terms of empirical hard evidence that's kind of where it stops at the moment. there are a number of pieces here that i think are important to look at. the first one being what are the capabilities of the islamic state actually have that could bring down an airliner that is
traveling above 31,000 feet? the first one we look at is man pads, manned portable air defense systems, shoulder-launched missiles that use i.r. sensors, infrared sensors, and those missiles go after the hottest part of the jet. so that is what the capability that isis, if they had one, would use. they can't go above 20,000 feet. so it's pretty clear that it wouldn't be a man pad that brought down that, just as man pads were used by the mujahadin against the soviets in afghanistan and actually helped to turn the war. what else is there? if we look at the mh-17 disaster it was a buck missile system. this is radar guided. this goes after the radar cross-section of the aircraft. and that was proximity fuse. when you look at the debris scatter of mh-17 that was over 50 kilometers. that was an explosion that happened at 31,000 feet to an aircraft traveling at 400 to 500 miles an hour which is seven to eight miles a minute spread over 50 kilometers. pan-am 103, 130 kilometers debris field.
this is 8 kilometers. so the explosion, again, if it was a bomb, to me it just isn't -- there isn't enough evidence to suggest when you look at the debris field that it is -- there's enough evidence to suggest an actual bomb. maybe an explosion of some kind pf maybe a deficiency in structural integrity. but i don't think we sat here right now have that information. u.k. intelligence, they may know something different. >> i'm going to bring in nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski. mikey kay here trying to put some of the pieces together. we have the u.s. official telling nbc news that there is evidence a bomb might have brought down that russian jet. what is the latest you're hearing? >> they stress the word "might." there are strong indications according to u.s. officials we're talking about that indeed it could have been a bomb that took down the plane. one official we were talking to said it was based on intelligence but would not share that intelligence. apparently very tightly guarded. but we saw the statement out of the british prime minister today
which also indicated that there may be a terrorist element in all this. and officials are looking at the possibility that isis or isis sympathizers may have somehow been involved. they're looking at ground crews there and the security at sharm el-sheikh airport because within a day after that plane went down u.s. intelligence had scrubbed, pretty well done an intel scrub on the manifest, passenger manifest aboard the russian airliner that went down and the flight crew. and they found no indication whatsoever of any connection, any sympathies, even any thoughts that any of these passengers or crew had about terrorism or militants. so the immediate attention then, if indeed this was a bombing, shifted to the ground crews, the security at sharm el-sheikh airport. and there are indications there that security was not what it should have been. >> and jim, obviously just
trying to piece together right now whether this was an explosive device or not, whether there was malfaezance here. but while those concerns are playing out, are there concerns, are there authorities looking into the possibility that maybe then there would be other attacks planned? >> i think the investigation when it first was launched about a russian airliner that went down in the sinai was is there a terrorist connection here. and you've got to believe that every terrorist -- counterterrorist organization throughout europe, the british of course and here in the united states kicked into high gear because there have after all been terrorist threats against airliners going into europe and into the united states in the past. and again, we emphasize here they have no solid evidence apparently that this was indeed a bomb, but they are starting to lean in that direction and the isis connection doesn't
necessarily have to be isis itself but perhaps sympathizers, somebody they could have easily arranged to carry out the planting of an explosive device on one of those airplanes. it's a lot of that is speculation right now. but it is the focus of what if kind of investigation being conducted not only by the europeans, the british, but of course the u.s. >> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon. thank you for that. we'll bringing in now congressman adam schiff, a democrat from california. he's also ranking member of the house intelligence committee. so congressman, i understand you were just briefed on this situation. again, the reporting we're getting is a u.s. official saying it might have been an explosive device aboard that plane. what can you say after being briefed on this? >> it certainly is a possibility. but it's also possible it was a structural or mechanical problem with the aircraft. we're not ready to confirm either conclusion. and we may not be able to do that until we have access to the
black boxes, which will be the most telling. but it is possible. i was in the sinai a few months ago. the islamic state has a presence there. there has been a terrorist presence there for quite some time but it has grown in numbers and sophistication. that has been mostly manifest in attacks on the egyptian military. but those attacks now have become very large scale and coordinated and if the islamic state in the sinai is capable of that they may very well be capable of smuggling an explosive on an aircraft. so we can't rule tout but it's certainly premature to say this is the cause. and at this point i think we simply don't know enough to tell whether this was a terrorist act or whether this was a mechanical structural problem with the aircraft. >> congressman, if it is determined as this investigation plays out that isis was involved in this somehow, would that change our understanding of isis's capabilities? would that change the way we're
fighting ice snis. >> i'm not sure it would. this has been a fear of ours for quite some time. predominantly we've been focused frankly on al qaeda's efforts to bring down aircraft. but i do think it points up the need not only to harden the defenses at airports around the world, but steve, there's still a lot more work i believe we should be doing at our airports here at home. we're not at all at the point i'd like to see us in terms of our preparedness, our security precautions. so this is an area that i think still remains a vulnerability for the united states and for other nations around the world. >> i'm curious actually on that point. you say do more at airports around the country. anybody who flies regularly knows we have often very long lines to go through security. you've got those body scanners. you take off your shoes. you take off your belt. what sort of measures are you talking about? >> well, it's not necessarily that we need different measures. it's just that we need to make sure the measures we have are effective, that in fact when you test those measures you that pass the test. and i think we have a lot of
work to make sure that those steps that we put in place are effective in deterring anyone or stopping anyone from bringing explosives or weapons on board. and all i can say is i think we have a lot more work to do. >> adam schiff, congressman, democrat from california. thank you for joining us. appreciate that. >> you bet. >> and tom costello covers aviation for nbc news. so tom, if this was a bomb, how would that affect airport security here at home? the congressman says there is more we need to do. >> i don't think there's any doubt that there's more that needs to be done. i think you have bipartisan agreement on that. and there was just another gao inspector general report came out that suggested that in fact tsa screeners failed yet again in september to detect weapons or fake weapons, mock weapons, smuggled through tsa checkpoints. i mean, there's wide recognition that the tsa checkpoint system can be improved upon. but as it relates to the u.s. airlines and their involvement over the sinai, it is nil. the united states does not have
any airlines flying into, out of, or over the sinai at all. in fact, there was a notice to airmen issued by the faa earlier this year in which they suggested any u.s. carrier fly above 26,000 feet because of the threat of potential surface-to-air missiles, shoulder-fired missiles out of the sinai. but in addition to that, faa requiring any u.s. carrier that would fly over the sinai to notify the faa first. there simply isn't any u.s. traffic over that region. i do think that the point is a good one. nick talked about the alleged poor security at sharm el-sheikh airport. in fact, the security director at that airport has already been fired. that according to bill neely for nbc news reporting out of cairo. we know that russia immediately sent ten officers, we believe army officers, to that airport immediately after this event, and they allegedly were quite concerned about the state of security at that airport. they reviewed security cameras. they reviewed the situation on
the ground and came away thinking that there was a significant problem there. now, whether in fact there was a bomb smuggled onto the plane, we simply don't know. and i do think it's important to note that tonight the british foreign secretary is saying there is a significant possibility the crash was caused by a bomb and britain suspending all flights to and from the sinai but they're not conclusively saying. it is still possible it was some sort of mechanical issue. but you know what you have going on here. you've now sown the seeds of doubt. so however this investigation comes out, let's assume that investigators -- and by the way, it's a multinational investigation involving russia, egypt, france, germany, and ireland. let's assume the investigation determines it was in fact metal fatigue, a structural failure of the plane. well, now we've had such widespread talk of a bomb that it's i think easy to assume that whatever the conclusions are
they will be met with some reluctance and maybe many people simply not believing those results because of now this report out of number 10 downing street and then u.s. intelligence that a bomb may, may have played a role. >> right. and of course people will always make that connection. russia sends military forces into syria and then a few weeks later this is what happens in egypt. but quickly mentioning the security situation at this airport where this plane took off from -- what was the reputation before this? did it have a good reputation for security or was this something that people were already pointing at and saying this is just a problem waiting to help? >> i don't think anybody overtly said, at least that i'm not aware of, that it's a problem waiting to happen. but i've also heard anecdotally over the years it's not the strongest, it's not the tightest security. i will tell you, any airline that flies to the united states from another country, that originating airport must subscribe to tsa security
standar standards. however, i think anybody would tell you that if you truly want to smuggle a bomb on board a plane you can do it. we've seen gaping holes in security, in europe, in the united states, in asia. so to the extent that this security may or may not have been flawed at sharm el-sheikh i think is clearly now on the able and you have international teams including the russians and ikeo, by the way, examining security both at sharm el-sheikh and also at cairo. >> tom costello, thank you very much for your time. and coming up we're going to bring you more on the russian passenger plane crash as this story develops. senators lindsey graham and al franken weigh in on the news that it may have been taken down by a bomb. plus our other big story of the day, super tuesday. it brought huge wins for republicans across the country. what were the conservative causes that won big last night? and what could that mean for 2016? that's coming up. well, right now you can get 15 gigs for the price of 10. that's 5 extra gigs for the same price. so five more gigs for the same price? yea, allow me to demonstrate.
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and we're following breaking news on msnbc with new details on that russian plane that crashed in egypt over the weekend, killing 224 people. a u.s. official tells nbc news that evidence indicates a bomb may have brought down the russian passenger plane over the sinai. the official also says the investigation is focused on the possibility that isis operatives or sympathizers were directly involved in a bombing. we will have much more ahead on msnbc. this holiday i can count on someone's kid mistaking me for santa. i'm so sorry. come on sweetie. it's okay. and knowing right when my packages arrive. introducing real-time delivery notifications. one more reason this is our season.
it was an off-year election, so a lot of states didn't have marquee races. but there were a few very important races, a few very important ballot questions last night. and one thing that jumped out at us has to do with a question about the changing culture in this country. we've heard so much in the last few years, really over the last decade about the pace of cultural change. this country becoming more liberal in many ways on social issues. this is the year of course that the supreme court said that gay marriage is legal everywhere in this country. that's something that's been building very quick ly over the last few years. this is the year of caitlyn jenner, of bruce jenner transitioning into a woman. a lot of discussion on that topic about transgender rights. so last night was interesting because in three different races the conservative side of the social argument won. it seems as if in three place as cross the country conservatives were saying let's put the brakes on the pace of social change. and voters said yes. i want to take through those three examples. they were in ohio, kentucky, and
texas. let's start in kentucky. picture you're seeing here, the man in the middle is matt bevin. he was the republican candidate for governor in kentucky yesterday. he comes from the tea party wing of the party. he was actually trailing in the polls heading into that election yesterday. the woman you see he has his arm around you probably recognize her. that is kim davis. and kim davis is from kentucky. she was the county clerk in rural kentucky who refused to grant same-sex marriage licenses this year, causing a major uproar. well, matt bevin in his effort to turn around that gap in the polls, he tried to motivate evangelical christians, gay marriage opponents, and so he went and he visited her in prison. he made her cause, he made the kim davis cause central to his campaign. and what happened yesterday in kentucky was a surprise. after trailing in the polls, matt bevin, who really rallied the evangelical vote really rallied the people who thought kim davis was being persecuted. he won by almost ten points. this was a big surprise yesterday. there were a lot of factors
obviously yesterday in kentucky but one of the factors it seems was voters in kentucky saying let's put the brakes on the pace of social change a little bit. now let's go down to texas, to the city of houston, the fourth largest city in the country. there was a gay rights ordinance on the ballot in houston yesterday. it was a gay rights ordinance that also applied to transgender people. now, the opposition to this gay rights ordinance focused on that specific issue, on the transgender issue, basically making the case that some men might dress up as women so they could go into a women's room and stare at women there or harass them. for instance, the governor of texas, a conservative republican, greg abbott, as the voting was taking place yesterday in houston, he said on twitter no men in women's bathrooms. he said vote against this ordinance. that was the theme that opponents of this used. they weren't talking about gay rights. they were talking about transgender rights. something that is brand new to the political debate. and it wasn't just greg abbott. lance berkman, former star for the houston astros, a big name
in houston, he cut an ad against this ordinance, making that same argument. we can play that four. >> i'm lance berkman. i played professional baseball for 15 years. but my family is more important. my wife and i have four daughters. proposition 1 would allow troubled men who claim to be women to enter women's bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. >> so that was the argument. as we enter this new era where transgender rights are taking center stage in the cultural debate in this debate that was the argument you heard. and this was the result in houston. overwhelmingly, that gay rights ordinance was rejected after listening to a campaign like that. voters said no, we don't want this. now we can take you up to ohio. marijuana was on the ballot. legalizing marijuana. it was on the ballot up there yesterday, and a lot of people said this would be the tipping point when it came to marijuana. already washington state and colorado had voted to legalize marijuana. those states, though, people looked at washington and they said that's a very liberal state.
they said colorado more of a swing state but has a lot of very liberal pockets in colorado. around boulder, for instance. so if ohio, middle of america ohio, swing state of all swing states ohio, if ohio votes to legalize marijuana then you know this issue has reached a tipping point. and yet the voters in ohio went to the polls yesterday. and look at this. almost 2-1 they voted against it. it does come with some catches because the way this thing was construct constructed it didn't just legalize marijuana it would have empowered ten companies to make an awful lot of money off marijuana while leaving everyone else out. there was more to this debate but the margin was overwhelming. people were look at this and saying ohio's going to send a message that we've reached a turning point on marijuana. ohio did not send that message yesterday. three instances yesterday where the conservative argument of saying let's put the brakes on the pace of change won out. joining me now to talk a little bit more about this is david frum, he's a senior editor at "the atlantic" and a former george w. bush speechwriter. david, of all three of these i
think the one that interests me most is in houston. because we reached a point it seems like where a gay rights ordinance in and of itself is not that controversial anymore. but when you add the transgender aspect into it, it looks like cultural conservatives have found a very powerful weapon here in this idea of men are going to pretend to be transgender, to go harass women. >> let's remember that on the same day salt lake city elected the first openly gay mayor and n. that city's history. so i think on the issue of same-sex rights the country isn't in progress but there are going to be limits and transgender rights may prove to be just too exotic a cause for the american people. the vote that interested me most was the ohio vote, the marijuana vote, because i think that is a case where we're having some social learning, that there is the ability to look at what's happening in colorado and saying you know what, that may have been a mistake, just as back in the 1970s when we lowered the
drinking age from 21 to 18 we saw the carnage on the roads thafr and in the middle 1980s raised the drinking age back up as a measure. marijuana's not as dangerous as drinking and driving, but this is social learning and putting of limits on that experiment in colorado and washington. >> i wonder too what you make of kentucky because the story of the gay marriage debate in this country you know over the last decade has been -- it went from being a fringe issue to something that if you take a poll nationally right now it's a majority issue. but that's not a majority across the country in every state. i think that's a message in part that kentucky voters were sending yesterday. there's an assumption i think a lot of gay marriage advocates have that this is an inevitability, eventually this will be a majority thing everywhere, it will be a fringe thing to oppose gay marriage. do you think that assumption is accurate? >> look, it's going to be a federal thing and a regional thing. all these years after the end of
prohibition there are dry counties in the united states. not everyone is going to have the same views and it will probably be the case for some time to come that large metropolitan areas are going to have different views than more rural states and more conservative states. but i think on this one the flow of opinion is pretty clear. and i think it's also important to remember that as you said at the very beginning, in these half step -- half-year elections these are straws in the wind more than gusts of change. the election of bill de blasio two years ago did not portend america was going to turn sharply to the left. you want to be careful overinterpreting this victory in kentucky as well. >> all right. david frum, thank you for your time tonight. >> thank you. >> all right. and still ahead, more on that doomed russian passenger jet that u.s. officials say may have been taken down by a bomb. we're going to bring you the latest on that. stay with us.
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russian airliner over the sinai peninsula. and they're investigating whether isis was involved. in just the last hour two u.s. senators talked to chuck todd on msnbc's "mtp daily." here's what senator and republican presidential candidate lindsey graham had to say about the new report. >> it could have been a bomb. it could have been by a group outside of isil. it could have been mechanical failure. but this i do know. that the desire of isil to kill people is only limited by their capability. so if it's not isil, it's not like they don't want to do this. they want to do this and more. so that's what i do know. >> andfranken, a democratic senator from minnesota, also weighed in. >> this is a tragic event, and no matter what happened our hearts go out obviously to the families of those who were lost. but if this is a terrorist attack that's confirmed, that's even more disturbing.
it may be not isis. it could be some other terrorist group. but if it's isis, it's disturbing in and of itself obviously. >> and we will have much more on this story as it develops. be. but did you know that the lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and bad breath? well, there is biotene, specially formulated with moisturizers and lubricants. biotene can provide soothing relief and it helps keep your mouth healthy too. biotene, for people who suffer from a dry mouth. hey! how are you?g? where are we watching the game? you'll see. i think my boys have a shot this year. yeah, especially with this new offense we're running... i mean, our running back is a beast. once he hits the hole and breaks through the secondary, oh he's gone. and our linebackers and dbs dish out punishment, and never quit. ♪
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or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. talk to your doctor and visit humira.com this is humira at work we are staying on top of breaking news. u.s. intelligence has early evidence suggesting a bomb may have brought down that russian plane that crashed in egypt. the crash killing 224 people last weekend. and if it indeed was a bomb, there are questions about whether a terrorist group is responsible. the plane was heading to st. petersburg, russia from egypt when it crashed. joining me now is congressman eric sawa of california, a member of the house intelligence committee. so congressman, just curious. breaking news this afternoon. i'm sure everybody down there is talking about this. what are you hearing? >> thank you for having me on, steve. i was just in moscow about three
weeks ago about syria. and you know, what we're hearing is our intelligence community right now as we speak are trying to get to the bottom of this. this tragedy has occurred in a very dangerous area of the world, and also it involves countries that have created what i call a vortex of propaganda. so the egyptians are denying it was terrorism. the russians are denying that it was a mechanical failure. and isis, without putting forward much evidence, are taking responsibility. and our intelligence community, their job is to get to the bottom and find that one version of the truth that exists. >> you mentioned you were in russia. i'm just curious. everybody's putting two and two together here. it's all speculation based on this report but everybody's looking at this and saying russia gets militarily involved in syria and then a couple weeks later this happens. if this turned out to be terrorism. if this turned out to be a bomb, do you think that would lead
russia at all to reconsider what it's been doing militarily? >> the simplest explanation is often the correct one here, and we know russia recently has increased its presence in syria. and so the fact that isis may want to respond is not unlikely at all. security in egypt is not great at the airports. i was in egypt last year. and you know, saw and heard firsthand that. but you know, what russia does next certainly could be to increase its presence going after isis. after all, they haven't really done much of that so far. they have been supporting the assad dictatorship despite telling the world they're going after isis. but their presence there has largely been to fight assad's opposition forces around aleppo, damascus, and other parts of the country. >> and how would that affect the u.s. and its goal of defeating isis if russia ends up being more engaged, more involved? you're saying maybe stepping up the efforts against isis but at the same time as you're saying they're trying to prop up assad.
>> i went over to russia to ask its leaders in the ministry of foreign affairs to work with us in syria to make sure we weren't, you know, engaging our planes with one another so we could avoid a problem and make sure if they were genuine about wanting to go after isis that we could do so together. but so far they have shown no willingness to want to work with us on that. they want to, you know, prop up assad and be complicit in the slaughtering that he's been doing of many innocent people. so i think hopefully if this tragedy indeed was caused by i.c.e. i see isis i see an opportunity for the united states, russia and our coalition partners to rethink what's going on in syria and try to remove assad, have a restart, try to get that country back up on its feet. >> all right. congressman eric swalwell, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> and joining me now in studio is senior fellow -- former ambassador, excuse me, former ambassador to morocco mark
ginsberg and harden lang, from the center for progress. you just got back from the region. curious what you saw there and if it offers you any insight ton what we're hearing this afternoon. >> obviously i don't know what may have caused the actual accident but i can tell you the context within the sinai peninsula which our viewers need to understand. there is outright warfare going on in the sinai between egyptian military forces and the isis chapter or division or franchise in the sinai. sharm el-sheikh is not completely walled off from this, however, it has not suffered any attacks. but there's so much infiltration of islamic extremists into the sinai that it's almost impossible for the egyptian authorities to have stopped any terrorists with the intent to make their way into sharm el-sheikh and braking the cauldron of security there. the egyptians have lost an enormous number of troops. there have been attacks by isis against naval installations of the egyptian military. israel has even lost some
military as a result of isis attacks. so let's understand that if indeed it turns out that there was a bomb on board and if it turns out isis has a deep presence in the sinai. >> harden, i'm security from your standpoint if it was determined that this was a bomb, if it was determined this was a terrorist act, if it was determined this was isis, the response from the united states -- we just sent 50 boots on the ground over there last week. do you think there would be a stepped up presence by the united states? >> i think the first thing we would probably have to look at in terms of response would be the nature of the way in which we conduct our military and security assistance with egypt. the egyptian armed forces are engaged in a serious and significant campaign in sinai, but this is not the fight they're best configured to undertake. i think one of the things we might need to look at particularly with our franchise operation of isis in the sinai is how best to support the
egyptian government. >> ambassador ginsburg, does this u.s. relationship with russia, the obama relationship with putin, is this potentially -- again, we're saying if this turns out to be terrorism, if this ends up being a bomb. does this potentially bring the u.s. and russia together more against a common enemy? >> yes. i've always argued that we're losing sight of really what is the overall possibility for the united states here. ultimately russia wants to preserve a shiite regime inside syria but also wants to destroy isis. there's no doubt that if the united states plays this far more carefully in the beginning instead of getting itself all boxed in about what putin is doing or not doing in syria there's more of a commonality of strategic objective against isis. russia has a great deal at stake by defeating isis as well because it does not want isis extremist forces to make their way into the caucasus and continue to grab territory and
launch another civil war in the muslim territories that are part of southern russia. >> how does that work? from the u.s. standpoint is there some kind of offer to russia that let's put at sad question aside right now and just focus on isis and agree to deal with that after? >> that's exactly happened already. at the vienna talks secretary kerry made it very clear that despite u.s. pronouncements to the contrary the united states is prepared to work with russia that no longer views assad as just the problem but as part of the solution. and that's been communicated -- >> but let russia continue to support assad in ways that it can. >> let's understand also that russia's had a 50-year stake in supporting the assad family and the assad regime and has naval bases and military bases and has been the number one supplier to the assad regime ever since the father assad came to power in 1967. >> hardin, i'm curious what you make of that question, u.s. and russia and the assad issue. >> it's pretty clear that moscow's intervention in damascus and in syria is primarily about trying to prop
up the assad regime. that will be interesting here is to see what the reaction is if we do get some evidence indeed that this was an isis-sponsored strike. i think there's no doubt that russia will continue to double down on what it's doing, but it also may come as -- if there is a silver lining to the tragedy that they reorient the nature of what they're doing to take the isis target more seriously as a priority inside of syria. and then maybe we would see a reorganization of the firepower has been brought to bear on opposition forces inside of syria and see that reoriented by moscow against the isis targets. >> and ambassador, does this -- if it was a bomb, does that change our understanding of isis and what it's capable of doing? >> yes. because i think we have been so focused on isis and syria and iraq we also appreciate the fact, but it's probably not been high on anyone's agenda. the isis presence in libya. the isis presence in tunisia. i've been deeply involved in the counterterrorism social media initiatives against isis
throughout north africa. in the sinai, in yemen. remember, yemen has been the major base of operation for developing bombs, shoe bombs and other sophisticated bombs for isis as well. i bet if this was a bomb there's a trail to yemen. >> thank you to hardin lang and ambassador marc ginsburg. appreciate your time tonight. but still ahead, two months after a massive manhunt to find who killed a police officer in illinois, a stunning revelation today. that officer's death is now ruled a suicide. we'll have the latest. plus marco rubio surging in the polls but his rivals have a plan to take him down. we'll tell you what it is coming up. (vo) what does the world run on? it runs on optimism. it's what sparks ideas. moves the world forward. invest with those who see the world as unstoppable. who have the curiosity to look beyond the expected and the conviction to be in it for the long term. oppenheimerfunds believes that's the right way to invest...
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works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria. for a cleaner, fresher, brighter denture every day. more now on the breaking news and the investigation of the russian plane that crashed in egypt last weekend, killing all 224 people on board. a u.s. official tells nbc news that evidence indicates it may have been a bomb that brought down that airliner over the sinai this past weekend. that official says the investigation is focused on the possibility that isis operatives or sympathizers were involved with the bombing. and joining me now is nbc news chief foreign correspondent richard engel. he is in istanbul. richard, thank you for joining us. so what is the latest you're hearing about this? >> reporter: well, i just spoke with a senior u.s. official a few moments ago and he said that
"the confidence is there that a bomb on the plane brought down that russian aircraft." not something fired from the ground but a bomb that was loaded onto the plane. and the suspicion in egypt is that it was a baggage handler, someone who had access to the aircraft, that this was a target of opportunity because of the lax security you that generally find in small regional airports in egypt and many other countries, and that isis is the main suspect and isis wanted to send a message right now to russia because russia has increased its attacks against isis in syria. >> yeah, and that raises the question, right, russia stepping up its military actions in the last few weeks and now potent l potentially this. so if this does prove to be the case, what you're describing, what would russia likely do in
response? >> reporter: the same u.s. official expects that once word of this starts to filter out into the mainstream media and into the population and public opinion in russia that there will be a strong desire for moscow to respond militarily against isis in syria and to dramatically increase its air strikes. already isis has been under attack by russian aircraft and russia says that isis is its main target, although russia has also been bombing opposition groups and other parties that are operating in syria. this official expects once this rubicon has been crossed, and he thinks it has been crossed, that we're going to see a very aggressive response from moscow. >> all right. nbc's richard engel in istanbul. thank you. appreciate that. and coming up on msnbc, donald trump goes full throttle with new attacks on marco rubio.
>> marco rubio has a disaster on his finances. he has a disaster on his credit cards. >> will the personal attacks on rubio's finances put an end to his surge in the polls? stay with us. ♪ some neighbors are energy saving superstars. how do you become a superstar? with pg&e's free online home energy checkup. in just under 5 minutes you can see how you
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(interrupting) you can't pick it up, can you? go ahead. he can't lift the hammer. it's okay though! you're going to change the world. senator marco rubio is facing serious questions about his finances. the "tampa bay times" is reporting on rubio's use of a florida republican party credit card for personal expenses, everything from "a $10.50 movie ticket to a four-day $10,000 family reunion." today one of rubio's rivals saw an opportunity and went on the attack. >> marco rubio has a disaster on his finances. he has a disaster on his credit cards. when you check his credit cards, take a look at what he's done with the republican party when he had access, what he had to put back in, and whether or not
something should have happened. you'll understand it. marco rubio has a basic disaster on finance. >> rubio dismissed the accusations this morning. >> every expense on that card is detailed in the republican party accounts that they file every month -- reports that they have to file with the state. it doesn't say who they belong to but we'll release that soon. it wasn't a credit card. it was an american express charge card secured under my personal credit in conjunction with the party. bills would be mailed to me at home. every month i would go through it. if there was a personal expense i paid it. if it was a party expense the party paid it. >> joining me now dave weigel, national political correspondent with the "washington post" and amy holmes, anchor on "the blaze tv." amy, let me start with you. >> yes. >> in that debate last week, that cnbc debate, this was an issue that did start to come up a little bit. rubio and his personal finances. >> starting to bubble. >> he deflected it, saying this is the liberal media attacking me. this is now one of his fellow republicans. this is donald trump attacking him on this.
does that change the nature of the attack and how it could be perceived by republicans? >> key words, this is donald trump making the attack, and marco rubio has a very simple rejoinder. this is coming from a guy who has filed multiple bankruptcies and he's going to be trying to educate marco rubio on finances? look, not everyone can live like donald trump. marco rubio's explanation this morning to george stephanopoulos i thought was very smooth, clear, and convincing. if there's another shoe to drop, we'll find out. i think he should have released this information earlier because this sort of seems like secret and maybe there's something nefarious going on. but the way he explains it is very straightforward. he says he has two debts -- his mortgage and his debt to america. you i think it's an answer that a lot of voters will actually find quite relatable. >> you know, dave, we were watching that clip from this morning from rubio this morning and i'm thinking back to that debate last week. it did occur to me, i always think of bill clinton as the master when he gets the uncomfortable question he's able to deflect it, he's able to handle it so smoothly that you're left at the end of it,
sometimes you're saying i'm not even sure what he said but he sounded confident, it sounds like it's no big deal. rubio it seems may have that gift too. >> yes. and the other part of this re-bittal when this issue comes is up to say obviously i didn't grow up wealthy. that's a bit of a deflection. that's not answering the question of why he was sloppy with the charge cards. although parenthetically as someone who has to file his expense this is month i understand what happened. what he's able to do as bill clinton's able to do is jiu-jitsu this into something about his own biography he's happy to say. amy's right he can attack trump on his own financial foibles. rubio's often in much better shape when he just reiterates hey, i'm the guy in this race who grew up with not a whole lot, challenging two rich people at the top of the field. the only person who doesn't fit in that narrative is ted cruz, who he's not really competing in the lane width right now. >> we mentioned a few of the items here. we can show you a few more. this is from the "to be continue times." they looked back at some of these expenses in 2010 on the
state republican party credit card. it was 765 bucks for an apple online store purchase. computer supplies it was listed as. what else do you have? $53.49 at winn-dixie in miami for food. you have $412 at a music equipment store in miami for supplies. these are the sorts of things -- he was also -- nbc's hallie jackson caught up on the trail with rubio to ask him a little more about it. let's play that exchange. >> what has taken you so long to release these undisclosed credit card statements? >> those rrds are internal party members. they were released because the chairman that went to jail leaked them to the press. the bottom line is very simple. >> why not put them out? >> we will, we are, we're going to. but here's what's very simple about it. it's not a credit card. it's a charge card with american express. it came to my house every month. i would review it. if there were personal expenses i paid them. if there were party expenses the party paid them. it's that straightforward. it's been debunked as an attack. it's an old attack. it's been around for five years.
and when we release the new understand you'll see the exact same thing. >> here's the bigger question. right now it's the credit card. it's the personal finances. it's donald trump coming after him. but if he does continue to move up in the polls, if he does continue -- he got endorsed today i think i saw for a u.s. senator for the third straight day. he's start fwroing in these endorsements. obviously that brings more scrutiny from the press, more attacks from his opponent. it won't just be donald trum app tacking him. can marco rubio withstand the scrutiny that's coming? >> so far he has. you have "the new york times" expose that discovered that marco rubio lived in a middle-class home and had a modest fishing boat that the "new york times" tried to blow up into some grand czarist lifestyle, which was easily debunked. actually awful these things i think help marco rubio, again, because it makes him relatable. so he charged some groceries. he charged a family reunion. we're not talking about private jets and trips to davos here for marco rubio. unless we are. and we'll find that out later. but as they say in washington
you're only as big as your enemies. in fact, marco rubio should be welcoming the attacks from donald trump. it means he's one of the big dogs. >> there's also, dave, we saw in the debate last week jeb bush tried to carry off the attack on marco rubio. that didn't work too well. but jeb bush still has a lot of money that he can use for attack ads. his super pac has a ton of money that it can use for attack ads. and one of the things i've been hearing is maybe there's a little bit of a dispute within bush world about how much of that money do you take now and you use to go nuclear against marco rubio. that has the potential maybe to hurt rubio in a way that bush himself in a debate can't. >> there are donors who've sunk costs in the bush campaign who want that. the problem is jeb bush is not a credible actor to make any of these arguments. his pac that is inspired by him but doesn't have his name on, a little more credible but jeb bush woorkd very hard to elevate marco rubio. jeb bush was elevating rubio right before the period we're talking about with his credit card. rubio's in a wonderful position
where the guy who's in the best position to tack him can't come off credible doing it. >> it reminds me on the democratic side martin o'malley was hillary's chair in maryland and now he's running gensler and saying no, it's not the right candidate. dave weigel, amy holmes, appreciate that. and thanks for watching msnbc. i'm steve kornacki. and "hardball" starts right now. trump lets it rip. let's play hardball. good evening. i'm chris matthews on a day that it appears donald trump is now convinced he's got a real chance to be president. after months of gobbling up free media attention, he's going to start peeling off the dollars to get his brand across the american way. he's about to spend a chunk of his billions in paid on-air advertising. well, the big question is how he will use his personal financial heft to bury the few riv